Kasese, Uganda | URN | Leaders and subjects of Rwenzururu Kingdom in Kasese district have condemned the remarks made by the Commander of the Uganda Land Forces, Lt. Gen Peter Elwelu regarding the Kasese killings of 2016 and asked government to apologize for them.
In November 2016, the military hit the defiant Rwenzururu Kingdom administration offices and the palace compound, killing more than 100 people.
A report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) in 2017 said 153 people including children perished.
Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere and more than 100 Royal Guards were arrested. Many spent more than four years in detention, until recently when they were granted bail.
After he was sworn in as a UPDF representative to the 11th Parliament on Tuesday 18, May 2021, Lt. Gen Elwelu said the people who died during the raid deserved what they got.
The Kasese leaders say the statements were reckless and demand government’s apology to the affected population. They also ask government to refrain Gen. Elwelu from issuing such provocative statements.
Alfred Ikwera, the outgoing leader of opposition in the municipal council called the statements a provocation to the people of Kasese.
He says government owes an apology to the people of Kasese for all the atrocities that were committed in 2016.
Jonan Bwambale, a councilor representing Mbunga sub county says such statements are uncalled for when both government and the kingdom are trying to cement their relationships.
He wants the army general to be compelled to extract his utterances.
Geoffrey Bigogo, the former LC V chairperson thinks Elwelu’s statement is another direct attack at the cultural institution which lost its people in 2016.
He says its time the NRM government comes out clearly to account for whatever happened. Bigogo calls on leaders to compel government to account for the statements issued by land forces commander.
Newly elected Kasese Woman MP Florence Kabugho says the statements publicly made by Elwelu were to provoke the feelings of Kasese residents and families of those who lost their people.
She says the army general might brag about making many wives widows and children orphans, but he would one day be punished for his actions.
“You may think Kasese is peaceful, I want to tell you the people of Kasese are angrier than they were…,” Kabugho said.
The Rwenzururu Kingdom Premier Joseph Kule Muranga thinks such unremorseful statements drag the process of creating peace and unity between the kingdom subjects and the government.
He says the kingdom has been trying to resettle the former royal guards and it is incumbent any leaders to support this process by avoiding anything that can evoke bad memories.
Moses Muhindo who lost his brother in the clashes says the statements were received by the family with tears.
He says it was the latest confirmation that they will never get justice for the loss. He wants the government to apologize for the affected families in the Kasese killings of 2016.